The time of the great warships is now. Large fleets sail the seven seas engaging in epic naval battles. Ships are blown out of the water by fierce follies of dozens of iron cannon balls. The great impressive royal navies are fighting to gain control over the seven seas. Their mission is to guarantee a safe passage for their merchant vessels which transport valuable goods from all around the globe to their home ports.
A true pirate always looks for treasure, even if the loot is well protected by a naval army. In these cases pirates are most inventive. It was David that slew Goliath with a small pebble. Now history is ready to repeat itself so it is time to think big and act in a small but effective way.
The age of the barrel subs is here: The little wooden one man subs sneak towards their prey, sabotage their rudders, nibble on their hulls and accidentally do sink one bye pure luck. With the large battleships gone, the pirate ships can take over to attacks the warships and loot the merchant vessels.
How the subs work:
The wooden barrel subs have the nasty habit of floating. For this reason the subs are loaded with stones in order to minimize the floating capacity of the sub. Once the subs make way, the depth rudder does its thing and will help to decent the sub just below sea level to stay clear of the eyes of the enemy. The man-propelled subs have ingenious devices that can be powered by hand and/or foot and can develop high speeds for a short time. Essential for “ramming”.
The tiny barrel subs are hard to point out in open sea. Even when they are spotted it is difficult to hit them because of their small surface. Barrel subs operate in swarms and preferably operate with the sun at their backs or at night. In the last case, the chance of a sub being rammed by a ship quite common.
The submarine fleet:
The “Ripper I”
This is the first and most famous “One Person Wooden Barrel Sub” that molested many well-armed ship and will continue to do so. The razor sharp teeth are a match for any wooden hull it collides in to. The razor sharp of teeth makes perfect vertical cuts in the hull. Once the damage is inflicted the sub can go in reverse to take the ship on for a second attack.
The “Ripper II”
The success of the “Ripper 1” asked for a pimped and more severe version. The “Ripper II” looks more intimidating as his smaller brother and has a more solid look. When operated well, this sub can inflict a lot more damage. The weak point of this submarine however is that a full hit often will end up being stuck in the enemies ship’s hull. This is why there are 2 escape hatches, one on either side.
This sub is reasonably fast at open sea. Its attack value is not impressive however its stump metal nose can bruise a hull quite well. The “Recon I” has another more important task at sea. While producing horn blowing sounds under water, this sub can guide the swarm of barrel subs in certain directions. It proofed to be of great value during the advancing stages of naval battles. Once the canons start pounding however, the value of the “Recon I” is downgraded to a minimum.
The “Hull Cutter”
A new chapter in barrel sub naval warfare was written with the invention of the rotating saw blade. The “Hull Cutter” was the first barrel sub that had a double operating mechanism on board that provided the thrust of the sub and, if needed, also provided power for the rotating saw blade. Making speed with the sub the saw blade was activated just before impact to inflict maximum damage.
straight cut in the hull.
The “T-Cutter” (Tiny Cutter) ((nickname Flipper))
Its bigger brother, the “Hull Cutter” proofed to be reasonable successful. Its mass made him stronger but also a bit slower and made him more sensitive to unfriendly fire. The “T-Cutter” is much more swift in open water. Compared to its bigger brother it is lightning fast and can make spectacular U-turns. Due to these statistics, the “T-Razor” got his nickname “Flipper”. The impact of the “T-Cutter” however is less devastating because of the lack of mass behind the saw.
The “Battle Axe”
This is a lean and mean sub machine. This sub is solely made for dealing out final blows and is equipped with a large axe head that breaks through the even thickest of hulls. Due to the fact that the change of getting free after the ram is minimal, the front part of the sub can be disconnected so the sub can break free and head for safer waters.
The “Wooden Glad”
The “Wooden Glad” isn’t an actual one person barrel sub anymore. First of all, it can obtain 2 or even 3 persons at a time. Secondly, the “Wooden Glad” cannot actually dive. It can lay low on the water surface once it makes speed but as soon as the speed drops, the “Wooden Glad” emerges from the sea. The floating capacity of the “Wooden Glad” is its ultimate weapon. The crew is trained to focus only on the rudder of the enemy ship. Its task is to ram the rudder or rather lifting it by emerging underneath it and in doing so, jamming it. The man on these subs are the bravest of the entire barrel sub crews. This is why we speak of “Wooden Glads and Iron Men”.
The rescue squad at sea consists of the so called “911” subs. 911 is the pirates emergency code meaning; With every 9 subs you need at least 1 rescue sub that can save 1 person. The fleet of barrel subs can bring along as many rescue subs it desires but the sub is still called the “911”. It has an emergency kit on board that consists out of a set of spare paddles, a rope for towing subs, a medical kit and buoy. It also can hoist a flag for better visibility of the sub during or after battles.
The “Chain Grater” & The “Barrari” (aka Swifty)
A fierce and mean sawing machine this “Chain Grater” is. This sea vehicle can actually cut your boat in half. (Only when you give it the chance and a lot of time…) Apart from the fact that it is a mean assault machine the “Chain Grater” is also very useful in cutting logs for home improvement or dock maintenance projects. Simply throw a log in the water and the “Chain Grater” does the rest.
It was Alfonso Berrari who improved the man propelled mechanism of the one person barrel submarines. Thanks to his modifications the subs became faster and more user friendly. Alfonso, who likes to live a fast and exciting pirate life also wanted his sub to be the fastest of the pack. Being an extreme idle man, he named this sub after himself. His fellow pirates refused to call the Barrari a Barrari, they simply called it “Swifty”.
(Rumour say that he has a blood red version of the sub just to impress the ladybirds.)
The “Blunderbuss” (aka The B7)
The “B7” is a Large and heavy sub with a lot of firepower. Although it is as slow as the “Woodenglad”, it’s firepower is quite impressive. The “B” stands for “Blunderbuss” and the “7” stands for the number of blunderbusses on board. This sub is most effective when it can maneuver between ships. The reason is that when the “B7” fires, it has to fire the blunderbusses on both sides at the same time. During the first test run the “B7” sunk after firing its blunderbusses on only one side. The shockwave made the sub capsize. Reloading the sub is a bit of an ad venture because the reloading of ammunition has to be done from the outside.
The “Stag Beetle” (aka The Pinch)
With the “Stag Beetle” we come to a new page in barrel sub history. More and more high tech equipment is being worked in to these successful skirmish attack units. The “Stag Beetle” is a close combat assault machine that is solely focused on the rudder of the ship. Once it can get its claws around the rudder it slams shut which makes the vessel very hard to steer. The other subs can now execute their battle plans and loot or sink (or both) the ship.
The “Stag Beetle” can also cut ropes and chains and when not used in combat it can help out the “Chain Grater” by cutting logs for home improvement purposes.
Alternative paint job, “Razzle Dazzle”:
The “Dazzle” or “Razzle Dazzle” camouflage was used during the first, and partially, during the second world war. The idea was to distort. Looking at a “Razzle Dazzle” ship through a periscope was confusing. It was hard to tell what type, size, speed and distance they had to deal with. Even the location of the bow and direction of the ship wasn’t always sure. Painting subs in “Razzle Dazzle” style is completely useless but it’s fun and that is important!
Cast in crystal clear resin the subs look like Ghost Barrels or submerged Barrels.
These Rocks are a great hide out for the subs. From here they can launch their attacks and between them they are relatively save.
One final shot: